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, 17 (2), 287-293

Wearable Cardioverter-Defibrillators in Pediatric Cardiomyopathy: A Cost-Utility Analysis


Wearable Cardioverter-Defibrillators in Pediatric Cardiomyopathy: A Cost-Utility Analysis

Patrick D Evers et al. Heart Rhythm.


Background: Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is the most common cardiomyopathy in children. Patients with severe cardiac dysfunction are thought to be at risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). After diagnosis, a period of medical optimization is recommended before permanent implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) implantation. Wearable cardioverter-defibrillators (WCDs) provide an option for arrhythmia protection as an outpatient during this optimization.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the strategy that optimizes cost and survival during medical optimization of a patient with DCM before ICD placement.

Methods: A Markov state transition model was constructed for the 3 clinical approaches to compare costs, clinical outcomes, and quality of life: (1) "Inpatient," (2) "Home-WCD," and (3) "Home-No WCD." Transitional probabilities, costs, and utility metrics were extracted from the existing literature. Cost-effectiveness was assessed comparing each paradigm's incremental cost-effectiveness ratio against a societal willingness-to-pay threshold of $50,000 per quality-adjusted life year.

Results: The cost-utility analysis illustrated that Home-WCD met the willingness-to-pay threshold with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $20,103 per quality-adjusted life year and 4 mortalities prevented per 100 patients as compared with Home-No WCD. One-way sensitivity analyses demonstrated that Home-No WCD became the most cost-effective solution when the probability of SCA fell below 0.2% per week, the probability of SCA survival with a WCD fell below 9.8%, or the probability of SCA survival with Home-No WCD quadrupled from base-case assumptions.

Conclusion: Based on the existing literature probabilities of SCA in pediatric patients with DCM undergoing medical optimization before ICD implantation, sending a patient home with a WCD may be a cost-effective strategy.

Keywords: Arrhythmia; Cost-utility; Dilated cardiomyopathy; Pediatrics; Wearable cardioverter-defibrillators.

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